When Candace Harris was studying computer science at Georgia Tech, she decided to combine her tech skillset with her interest in finding the right hair products for her natural hair.
That led to her realization that artificial intelligence could be used to analyze hair texture and type.
“I discovered that your hair is as unique as your fingerprint, which requires a personalized approach for product recommendations,” she said. “I learned how to code and write algorithms to provide the best match for your natural hair out of all the products currently in the market.”
Her company, MYAVANA, was born. She and a team of Black female scientists and engineers created the scientific, state-of-the-art hair analysis tool that’s been called the 23andMe for hair.
Here’s how it works: Customers submit a photo of their hair and MYAVANA uses AI and their patent-pending proprietary software to provide instant analysis of the person’s hair type, and gives product recommendations to purchase.
MYAVANA doesn’t get paid to promote products, so recommendations are specifically catered to each customer. For more complex cases, a customer’s hair strands are sent to a lab where a hair analyst identifies the hair’s condition, including density, elasticity, and porosity.
“Black women have the greatest hair texture variety out of any ethnicity in the world which makes haircare a treasured but complex routine that we mostly refer to as a struggle,” Harris said, explaining MYAVANA’s personalized approach takes away the struggle, and saves people time and money. “Re-discovering your hair is like re-discovering yourself.”
Not having access to capital and having to grow the business slowly has been a challenge, but Harris persevered. She advises Black entrepreneurs to discover their purpose and stay true to their vision. Talk to your customers and ask for help when you need it.
“Through forming and nurturing relationships, I was able to grow my business abundantly against all odds,” she said.
To learn more about MYAVANA, visit www.myavana.com.